Fagioli's Group

  1. Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Laboratory, Division of Oncohaematology and Stem Cell Transplantation, ASO OIRM-S.Anna, Turin
  2. Neuroscience Institute of the Cavalieri Ottolenghi Foundation, Torino
  3. Department of Neurology, Eastern Piedmont University, Maggiore della Carità Hospital, Novara
Group Leader
Franca Fagioli
Head of the Oncohaematology and Stem Cell Transplantation Division. ASO OIRM-S.Anna, Turin; franca.fagioli@oirmsantanna.piemonte.it
Alessandro Vercelli Associate Professor in Human Anatomy, University of Turin
Letizia Mazzini. Head of the tertiary ALS Center. Department of Neurology, Eastern Piedmont University, Maggiore della Carità Hospital, Novara
Ivana Ferrero, Biologist, Qualified Person of Cell Factory, Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Laboratory, ASO OIRM-S.Anna, Torino
Katia Mareschi, Biomedical Technician, Production director of Cell Factory, Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Laboratory, ASO OIRM-S.Anna, Torino
Scientific interests
1.Clinical and translational research on new therapeutic strategies in oncohaematology and degenerative diseses. Isolation, characterization and expansion of haemopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells for cellular and anti-tumour therapies.
2. Neuronal death and neuroprotection.
3.Stem cell transplantation in experimental models of spinal cord injury and motoneuron diseases (ALS and SMA).
4. Basic and clinical research on motor neuron diseases.
The Division of Oncohaematology and Stem Cell Transplantation, specialized in paediatric oncohaematology, is a reference regional centre for paediatric tumors, and is part of the O.I.R.M.-S.Anna Hospital of Turin, a scientific and technological centre of excellence recognised both nationaly and internationally for its high specialization in maternal and child care. The Stem Cell Transplantation includes a clinical unit for clinical and research activities and a Cell Factory, a sterile laboratory designed to meet the requirements of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) for the production of cell therapy products. The Centre has already conducted several clinical protocols of cell therapy for the treatment of onco-haematological and degenerative diseases
The ALS Centre located at the Neurology Clinic, Eastern Piedmont University, is a National Reference Centre for the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of neuromuscular diseases. Over 200 patients throughout Italy are evaluated and treated each year by a multidisciplinary team.   The Centre was the head of the first phase 1 study authorized by the Italian Institute of Health on clinical applications of mesenchymal autologous stem cells in ALS.
Our interdisciplinary group of basic and applied researchers in Turin and Novara has a well-established experience in cell therapy for neurological diseases and aims to study cell therapy with MSCs in motor neuron disease from basic science to patient treatment.
The Stem Cell Laboratory under Dr. Fagioli collects, expands and characterizes MSCs from normal donors and ALS patient BM in order to standardize protocols in the two groups. In particular, it focuses on the study of multipotent and immunomodulant characteristics of mesenchymal stem cells.
Professor Vercelli’s lab showed that MSCs delay disease progression, decrease neuroinflammation and promote MN survival in an animal model of ALS.
Pilot trials in patients have been designed and started by Dr Mazzini in order to show the safety of the intraparenchymal injection of autologous BM-MSC.
Relevant publications
·         Human mesenchymal stem cell transplantation extends survival, improves motor performance and decreases neuroinflammation in mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Vercelli A, Mereuta OM, Garbossa D, Muraca G, Mareschi K, Rustichelli D, Ferrero I, Mazzini L, Madon E, Fagioli F. Neurobiology of disease. Neurobiology of Disease (2008), 31:395–405.
·         Mesenchymal stem cells from healthy donors and sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis patients. Ferrero I, Mazzini L, Rustichelli D, Gunetti M, Mareschi K, Testa L, Nasuelli N, Oggioni GD, Fagioli F. Cell Transplantation, (2008), 17 (3): 255-266.
·         Stem cell treatment in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Mazzini L, Mareschi K, Ferrero I, Vassallo E, Oliveri G, Nasuelli N, Oggioni GD, Testa L, Fagioli F. Journal of the Neurological Sciences (2008), 265:78–83.
·         Multipotent mesenchymal stem cells from amniotic fluid originate neural precursors with functional voltage-gated sodium channels. Mareschi K, Rustichelli D, Comunanza V, De Fazio R, Cravero C, Morterra G, Martinoglio B, Medico E, Carbone E, Benedetto C, Fagioli F. Cytotherapy (2009), 11(5):534-47.
·         Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A Phase I clinical trial.Mazzini L, Ferrero I, Luparello V, Rustichelli D, Gunetti M, Mareschi K, Testa L, Stecco A, Tarletti R, Miglioretti M, Fava E, Nasuelli N, Cisari C, Massara M, Vercelli R, Oggioni GD, Carriero A, Cantello R, Monaco F, Fagioli F. Exp Neurol. (2010), 223(1):229-37.
Scientific instruments
The Stem Cell Laboratory has advanced and sophisticated equipment for the processing and characterization of stem cells, such as CliniMACS (Miltenyi) instrument, a flow-cytometer, a real-time PCR instrument, optic and fluorescent microscopes, laminar flow cabinets and incubators for cellular cultures. Moreover, the Cell Factory is equipped with HEPA filters, controlled air flow and temperature to guarantee a class B clean-room, as GMP standards require. The rooms are equipped with laminar flow cabinets, incubators, centrifuges and microscopes for cellular therapy products manipulation.
Animal surgery and behavioral facilities, EM facility, cell culture facility, molecular biology facility, confocal microscopy, computer interfaced microscopes (Neuroscience Institute of the Cavalieri Ottolenghi Foundation).
Clinical NeurophysiologyLaboratories that provide the full spectrum of diagnostic and monitoring neurophysiologic testing (EEG, EMG/NCV, MUNE technique, Evoked potentials)
Department of Radiology. This Department is equipped with a wide range of advanced neuro-imaging equipment, to produce high quality images of the brain and spine (MRI, Computed Tomography, angiography, Nuclear Medicine Images).

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